• Published 24th Sep 2018
  • 2,210 Views, 325 Comments

Railway Adventure - The Blue EM2

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Slip and Slide

They tried pulling it, at first. The saddle tank at the front was the easiest to remove. Even so, with a rope attached to the front, and all 4 girls pulling with all their might, the engine refused to budge. After about 5 minutes they gave up.

They then tried pushing it instead. This had a similar lack of success. When they were on the verge of collapsing on the floor out of frustration, Sweetie Belle climbed into the cab and took the driver’s seat.

“What are you doing?” Cozy Glow asked.

Sweetie Belle didn’t reply. Instead, she pulled a lever, and the engine suddenly rolled forward. Scootaloo jumped out of the way, and landed on the ground nearby. “That was close!” she cried.

“What did ya do, Sweetie Belle?” asked Apple Bloom.

“You’d left the brake on,” Sweetie Belle replied. “That’s why it wasn’t moving.”

“Oh,” said Scootaloo. “Right.”

With that hurdle out of the way, they took the opportunity to wheel the engine down the hill to Ponyville station. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo went ahead of the engine, shining their torch ahead. Sweetie Belle and Cozy Glow stayed in the cab, keeping an eye on the controls and ensuring the brake was properly applied. Cozy seemed especially happy in the cab, but Sweetie Belle was not quite as impressed.

“This thing’s brake handles like a racehorse that’s eaten a chilli pepper!” she said, as the engine violently lurched forward again.

“That’s part of what makes narrow gauge so much fun!” Cozy added.

“You seem to know an awful lot about these things,” Sweetie Belle remarked.

“My dad was a volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway when we lived in Wales,” Cozy replied.

“Why’d you live in Wales?”

“My dad was moved there when he was in the Army, and we only recently returned. I’m still getting used to the fact it doesn’t rain every day!”

Sweetie Belle laughed at that. “Is that true?”

“Yes, Wales is the only country where it rains upwards!”

Meanwhile, out front, Scootaloo was raising some concerns.

“Apple Bloom, I commend your determination, but are you sure we can do this?”

“If the locos have been untouched for decades, they oughta be in good order, right?” Bloom answered. “Besides, ah thought the journey counted as much as the destination.”

Scootaloo nodded. “Yeah.”

Presently they reached Ponyville station, the sun setting in the sky. Grand Pear was waiting there with his truck. A vintage pickup, it had been rebuilt into a recovery vehicle by its previous owner and had a large winch in front of the main bed. Pear looked in astonishment as the girls and a STEAM ENGINE rolled forward out of the gloom and stopped in the platform. “Never thought ah’d see that again,” he said. He got into his truck and backed up to the track.

He then got out some chains which he kept spare, and spoke to the girls. “Right, what we’re gonna do is run these here chains under the engine. Then we’ll lift with the crane, and lower her onta the flatbed. After that, we head back to Canterlot and drop it off at school.”

“Sorry, what?” Apple Bloom asked. “Did ya just say at school?”

“Yup!” Pear answered. “Ah was contacted by this Cheerilee lady, who has apparently arranged to get it inta the engineering department. Do you know her?”

“That’s my mom,” Scootaloo replied. “But it’s nice of her to have helped.”

“Right,” Pear interrupted. “Now let’s cut the chat and get ta work!”

It wasn’t long before they had all the chains linked up. Pear got into his truck, and started the lifting mechanism. There was some tension as the engine was lifted, but it went well, and at long last the engine was safely on the truck. Bloom got into the front passenger seat, whilst the others were squished into the back-passenger seats. The drive back was fairly uneventful, apart from a few stares from folks who were mighty surprised to see a truck with a steam engine on the back.

At last, the truck arrived outside the school. Some rails had already been laid from the loading dock at the back of the school into the engineering department, which was situated out of the way from the rest of the school, given all of its specialist equipment required for teaching. Pear slowly backed the truck up, until the deck of his truck had contact with the rails on the dock. Then Cheerilee stepped forward. “I see you got the cargo!” she called.

“Sure did, ma’m,” Pear replied. “I take it that ya want this thing undercover?”

“That I do,” Cheerilee answered. “How are we going to do that?”

They all got to work, disconnecting the support chains and readying to move the engine. Apple Bloom linked up the rope, and the 6 of them pulled, to get the engine moving into the building. It took a lot of strength, but the engine was in before long.

Cheerilee looked with a smile at their work. “The engine will be safe here,” she said. “We’ll wait until tomorrow to take a look at it, and I’ve called out an engine inspector to take a look.”

“You must have been certain we’d find the engine,” Cozy said, as she looked upon the locomotive.

“I’d been up there a while ago,” Cheerilee replied. “Steam engines don’t just go walkabout. But this would fulfil a dream I've had for a while. If we bring this engine back, and that line, not only will we have revived history, but have created a local tourist attraction.”

They all took the moment to gaze upon the engine. It looked pretty good, in spite of how long it had been in storage. It was painted black, and had a solid, rugged smokebox, with a large tank that covered the boiler very nicely. The coal was contained in front of the cab, and the cab was contained well and nicely proportioned to the rest of the engine. The cab was spartan, but did the job nicely. The frames were proportioned well, and a dome sat just behind the tank.

After that, they returned home. Scootaloo got ready for bed, and pulled the sheets over her when her mother came in.

“Mom,” Scootaloo started, “thanks for believing us, we could never have got that engine down here without your help.”

“It’s no problem darling,” Cheerilee answered. “You have every reason to be proud of what you achieved today. But it’s tomorrow we learn if this is viable.”

“That’s true,” Scootaloo answered. “It’s funny that it was all as it was in the Railway Series.”

“What do you mean?” Cheerilee asked.

“Remember that one about Duke? The old engine who got locked in a shed for decades, before being dug out and restored?”

“Yes, I remember that one. That was certainly one of my favourites. ‘You wouldn’t have known’” Cheerilee started.

But then, both of them finished in unison, “’a shed was there, let alone a little engine asleep inside it.’”

Cheerilee smiled, and went to exit. “Sweet dreams, dear.”

Scootaloo didn’t reply, and Cheerilee saw exactly why. Scootaloo had drifted off to the land of dreams, where anything was possible with the imagination, and a healthy dose of gold dust. And so, another long day ended, ready for a new tomorrow.

Author's Note:

Another chapter down! It's heating up as we approach halfway. Based on the comments I can see people are already speculating about a certain character, to which I say you might be surprised.

Due to life, there will be no new chapters until the 25th.

Until then, happy travels!